Jay Fergusonjay@deepcreekvacations.com301-501-0420

Garrett County judge will render decision on mini-marina June 1

Sherbin must review exhibits in regard to ice cream parlor permit

Elaine Blaisdell Cumberland Times-News

OAKLAND — Judge Jim Sherbin will review exhibits given to him regarding the mini-marina at Lakeside Creamery Monday and make a decision on the matter by June 1.

A hearing on the declaratory judgment regarding amendments to the Deep Creek Watershed Zoning ordinance and the issuing of a permit to business owner Bill Meagher for the mini-marina and an administrative appeal of the Board of Zoning Appeals decision to grant Meagher the permit were held in Garrett County Circuit Court.

Meagher’s property did not meet the minimum total lot or land area per use of 10,000 square feet in the ordinance and instead a permit was based on a minimum land area of 6,000 square feet, according to Greg Skidmore of Skidmore, Alderson and Duncan of Oakland, who is representing local marinas. Skidmore requested that Meagher repeat the zoning process.

“Zoning should be transparent, open, fair and shouldn’t be questioned after the fact,” said Skidmore. “Meagher is the reason the zoning amendment was initiated,” he added.

On June 5, 2012, the Board of County Commissioners voted to make amendments to the ordinance to allow Meagher to have a marina that doesn’t offer the services associated with it. The amendments to the ordinance contained a notation that the minimum land are remain the same as currently specified at 10,000 square feet, according to a hearing memorandum provided by Skidmore.

Skidmore also noted that the property was .9 acres and didn’t meet the one acre minimum total lot or land area per use in the ordinance. County Attorney Gorman Getty III indicated there is a misunderstanding about the square footage required for the permit. A 1993 amendment to the ordinance established a 6,000 square foot requirement for retail and service business situated in shopping centers or neighborhood convenience centers.

Meagher’s property is classified multiple use and he has the potential to have six businesses because of the nature of the zoning classification, according to Getty. Skidmore also noted that the permit was issued by the Board of Zoning Appeals on June 11 before the findings of fact were issued.

“The June 28, 2012, findings of fact even ignored that the permit had already been issued to the Meagher/Lakeside by the administrator on June 11, 2012, based on a minimum land area of 6,000 square feet,” states the hearing memorandum. “Such a disclosure was clearly required by the ordinance and Maryland law so as to make the amendment process fair and reasonable.”

The county commissioners are required to make a findings of fact before enacting any amendment to the ordinance. The director of the board of zoning appeals indicated that the findings of fact were not fully written, signed and published until after the permit was issued, according to Skidmore.

The director also citied ambiguous language in the ordinance relating to the findings of fact. In order to clear up ambiguous language in the ordinance, the commissioners voted in January to rectify a conflict in ordinance so that it was consistent with Land Use Article 66B.

Skidmore also noted that the findings of fact didn’t satisfy the change/mistake requirement of the ordinance, which requires that if no mistakes were made in the zoning ordinance that an amendment be made only if the character of the neighborhood was changed to an extent which justifies the amendatory action.

Getty argued that the zoning amendment wasn’t made to address specific piece of property but all property and that there couldn’t be a change and mistake. Findings of fact were made and the change and mistake doesn’t apply, said Getty.

Meagher planned to offer 12 personal watercrafts and four pontoon boats as rentals as well as offer guided tours. He would use existing local marinas for related services.

Contact Elaine Blaisdell at eblaisdell@times-news.com.



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Jay Ferguson

Who I Am My name is Jay Ferguson, and I am a lifelong resident of the Deep Creek Lake area. I am also co-owner of the real estate side of Taylor Made. I have been in the real estate business for 21+ years now and I LOVE what I do! I have to say, my career really took off when I co-founded the real estate side of Taylor Made in 2014. Its been an amazing experience, building a real estate company from the ground up and achieving so much so quickly! In August 2016, we purchased Long & Foster Real Estate Deep Creek, where I had started my career in 2000. In 2018, we on-boarded virtually every agent from Coldwell Banker Deep Creek Realty as they closed up shop and the real estate family grew even more! We now have over 40 sales agents and have expanded to West Virginia and Pennsylvania, as well. Taylor Made is the #1 vacation rental company at Deep Creek with over 475 vacation rental homes, and over one hundred thousand yearly visitors. Its amazing what we have accomplished using the principles of honesty, teamwork and customer service! Personally, my wife Jessica and I enjoy traveling and especially spending time in the outdoors, hiking and exploring the many diverse areas that Garrett County is naturally blessed with. We have raised two wonderful children here, Kayleah (22) and Noah (13). In the summer, we love spending time on the water with friends & family and enjoying the lake life! We are both active in our church, our community & local school activities, and we fill our schedule with plenty of volunteer efforts. I currently serve on the board of directors for Habitat for Humanity. I am proud to say that I was named Deep Creek Time’s Favorite ‘Community Champion’ in 2019. I was also named Garrett County Realtor of the Year in 2018-19, as well. I really enjoy promoting my hometown. I am very proud of the resort area that has developed over my lifetime and look forward to growing the area even more! Deep Creek Lake has been described as ‘The Lake Tahoe of the east', and I think that speaks volumes about the potential to own property here! Deep Creek Lake isn't really a town or city by itself; it's comprised of three towns: Oakland, Swanton & McHenry, Maryland. I am very passionate about my hometown and am impressed with how many people know about it as we travel around the country. Deep Creek Lake is an amazing place to visit and even better place to live! During the pandemic in 2020, our market exploded and more and more people left their primary residence in the city to live here permanently. With distance learning in schools and tele-commuting becoming the ‘norm’, many more people were drawn to the area to ‘live where they love to play’. Why You Want Me Working for You: In addition to being an owner, I am consistently one of the top-producing agents in the entire area and the Associate Broker of record for Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations & Sales. I have 21+ years of experience and I am a problem solver. There aren’t many situations that I have not encountered and I have a strategy for almost every scenario that you may encounter. I have extensively trained in all areas of real estate & emerging technologies, and also have trained as an appraiser, as well as served as a full-time Broker. I have a strong knowledge of the industry, as well as many trusted local contacts & affiliations that allow me to perform at a very high level and deliver results. I have a great deal of respect for my peers in this industry and have strong working relationships that I would love to put to work for you. Call me to discuss your situation - I know I can be of great service to you & others you care about! Honesty. Integrity. Results.